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Originally published July 28 2004

Hospital warning: medical errors kill 195,000 Americans each year, says new study

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

A new study has revealed startling statistics about the number of people killed each year in U.S. hospitals. That number is now estimated to be 195,000 people, or almost twice as many as were estimated in a 1998 report on the same subject. To put this in perspective, this is equivalent to almost fifty 9/11 attacks each year in terms of the number of fatalities caused. This is a health care crisis -- people are being killed by preventable hospital errors and neglect. Unfortunately, it's also the norm in our modern medical system.

This is yet more evidence showing how dangerous it is to be in a hospital. I've often stated that a hospital is the most dangerous place to be, and 195,000 people each year would no doubt agree with that statement. So what's causing all of these deaths in the first place? They are typically being caused by inadequate care by health care personnel, such as ignoring bedsores, or by complications from surgical procedures such as post-operative sepsis or infections that result in death.

Errors are also very common in the administering of prescription drugs to patients. Previous studies have shown alarmingly high error rates, where health care personnel give the wrong prescriptions to the wrong patients in the wrong way, and have even been caught attempting to administer fatal doses of prescription drugs simply because they were ordered to do so by a physician.

Make no mistake -- the modern medical system we have in the United States is extremely risky for patients. Prescription drugs alone kill 100,000 people a year, and over-the-counter medications kill another 40,000. Now with this study we know that hospital errors kill another 195,000 people each year. In all, this makes almost 350,000 people each year who are killed by modern medicine. And that's all according to statistics compiled by the medical establishment! I'm sure that critics of modern medicine (such as myself) could make a strong case for a much higher number of deaths being caused by our current system.

And yet once again, we don't see many headlines about this crisis. No one is calling for an investigation of the pharmaceutical companies for killing 100,000 people each year. The FDA stands by as if on the sidelines, watching all of this without much alarm. Yes, the agency has mandated the bar coding of prescription drugs in hospitals to help reduce prescription drug errors, but when those prescription drugs cause fatalities even when prescribed and administered correctly, bar coding doesn't solve the source of the problem in the first place. The real problem with our modern medical system is that it relies on drugs and surgery to treat practically everything, and these limited strategies are inherently dangerous and will inevitably cause fatalities, as is now being shown in numerous studies just like this one.

If we had a national health care system that was based on prevention, nutrition, physical exercise, and consultation with patients rather than surgical procedures and prescription drugs, we would have far fewer deaths, and in fact, great improvements in the longevity and happiness of patients. Costs would plummet, and hospitals could be transformed into places of healing rather than death traps. In time, I hope that we can see major reforms in organized medicine, but for the present, a U.S. hospital is one of the last places you want to find yourself.


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